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Saturday, 21 April, 2012

Rash driving: Highway turns death trap

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Expressbuzz reports

SAMBALPUR: Industrialisation has brought with it drastic changes in the economic condition of the people in every village of Sambalpur district. The repercussions of development are acutely being felt. The purchasing power has led to an increase in the number of vehicles which in turn results in accidents due to reckless driving.

Maximum accidents are reported on State Highway 10 that connects Sambalpur with Rourkela. Deaths as a result of accidents are also reported on the 45-km stretch from Sambalpur to Jharsuguda. In the last three months, 40 persons have died in 28 accidents on the stretch.

In 2011, 60 accidents had been reported on the stretch in which 63 people died. The road was constructed at an estimated cost of `289 crore to boost industrialisation in the region.

Maximum deaths have been attributed to reckless driving by untrained truck drivers engaged by industrial houses.

A majority of the vehicles do not have rear light making it difficult for vehicles to make out traffic on the road.

Another reason stated by the locals is use of sharp head lights by the truck drivers which affects the vision of people coming from opposite direction. Moreover, trucks parked along the roads the space.

On Monday, 10 persons died in an accident while 11 others escaped with injuries at Gurupali Chhak under Rengali police limits. The pilgrimage turned tragic for three families.

A couple of hours later, another car rammed the overturned truck involved in the accident injuring three persons who were admitted to VSS Medical at Burla.

With no highway patrolling or availability of ambulance service, more casualties are being reported raising question on road safety. Even as plans to convert the road into six lanes are underway, locals fear that it would lead to more accidents.

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